Students Join Forces With Brothers’ Helpers to Feed Homeless

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Photo by Shel Segal / OUTLOOK Flintridge Prep students Ben Baraga (left), Melody Lin and Mia Bella Chavez bag food recently at St. Bede Church, across the street from Prep’s campus. The food is then taken to downtown Los Angeles to feed those who are homeless.
Photo by Shel Segal / OUTLOOK
Flintridge Prep students Ben Baraga (left), Melody Lin and Mia Bella Chavez bag food recently at St. Bede Church, across the street from Prep’s campus. The food is then taken to downtown Los Angeles to feed those who are homeless.

For the past 15 years, local students have been heading to St. Bede Church on their Monday lunch hour to help bag pastries for about 2,000 people who are homeless and hungry on Skid Row.

Michael Roffina, a world history teacher at Flintridge Prep who helps organize his school’s participation, said between 15 and 40 usually participate and several local organizations donate food that would otherwise be thrown away.
“It’s only 10 or 15 minutes, but they bag a lot of stuff,” Roffina said. “It all gets loaded into trucks and gets taken down.”
Flintridge Prep freshman Cammi Bielawa said she not only enjoyed bagging the food with her friends, but she liked the idea of helping someone.
“It’s just something simple you can do to help people,” Bielawa said. “And anything that helps matters.”
Once the food is bagged at St. Bede’s, it is distributed downtown by Brothers’ Helpers. Bill Maddigan, the organization’s co-executive director, said the students’ help is instrumental in preparing those deliveries.
“If they didn’t make it, two or three volunteers would spend quite a bit of time making it,” Maddigan said. “We appreciate having the kids help us out. And we miss them in the summer when they’re not here.”
For more information, visit brothershelpers.org.

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